Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Infiniti SUV changes name to QX80

By
From page A12 | November 08, 2013 |

The Associated Press

With the new name of QX80 for 2014, Infiniti’s largest sport utility vehicle packs some of the softest-feeling leather, shiniest burl wood and a host of other luxury items into a big, nicely crafted interior.

But this seven- or eight-passenger SUV, renamed from last year’s QX56 so it fits with Infiniti’s new, 2014 nomenclature, retains its predecessor’s styling, truck-based platform and even the 5.6-liter V-8 that helped create the name QX56 in the first place.

Confusing? Yes. Is it disappointing that there’s no 8-liter engine under the QX80 hood? Not necessarily.

2014 Infiniti QX80 AWD

Base price: $61,350 for RWD; $64,450 for AWD

Price as tested: $79,095

Type: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, seven-passenger, full-size, luxury sport utility vehicle

Engine: 5.6-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection V-8 with VVEL and CVTCS

Mileage: 14 mpg (city), 20 mpg (highway)

Length: 208.3 inches

Wheelbase: 121.1 inches

Curb weight: 5,878 pounds

Built in: Japan

Options: Deluxe touring package (includes Bose Cabin Surround audio and 15 speakers, Hydraulic Body Motion Control, climate-controlled front seats, semi-aniline leather-appointed seats, Mocha Burl trim, second-row footwell lighting) $4,650; technology package (includes blind spot warning, backup collision intervention, lane departure warning and prevention, adaptive front lighting with auto-leveling headlights) $3,250; theatre package (includes dual 7-inch displays, wireless headphones, 120-volt outlet, remote tip-up second-row seats, heated second-row seats) $3,100; tire and wheel package (includes 22-inch wheels with all-season tires) $2,450; cargo mat and netting with first-aid kit $200

Destination charge: $995

The carryover, naturally aspirated V-8 is gasoline direct injection and generates a healthy 400 horsepower and 413 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm.

It propelled the 2-ton-plus QX80 test SUV quickly around other vehicles in traffic and onto highway merges. It also helps give the QX80 a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds, which rivals some full-size pickup trucks.

Better yet, the QX80 feels stout and sturdy and can be fitted with an array of the latest safety features — most of them optional, such as backup collision intervention that takes rearview cameras to the next technological step. Too bad, though, that neither the QX80 nor its predecessor QX56 has federal government crash-test results to compare with other full-size SUVs.

Still, the QX80 is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports, where reliability is listed as above average.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $62,345 for a base, 2014 QX80 with rear-wheel drive and automatic transmission.

Starting retail price, including destination charge, for a base, 2014 QX80 with all-wheel drive is $65,445.

Competitors include other large, luxury SUVs that have seats for seven or eight, such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4Matic, which starts at $65,475 with 362-horsepower, bi-turbo V-8, automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. Note that while the QX80 has one powerplant, the Mercedes GL offers several, including a fuel-sipping diesel six-cylinder and a high-performance, 550-horsepower V-8.

Another competitor, the 2014 Cadillac Escalade, has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $68,965 with 403-horsepower V-8, automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Cadillac also sells an Escalade Hybrid.

Styling on the 17.4-foot-long QX80 is polarizing. With a snoutish front end and rather flat roofline, the SUV was named one of Car and Driver magazine’s 10 Ugliest Cars For Sale Today.

Infiniti engineers continue to refine the ride. For 2014, an optional Hydraulic Body Motion Control system for the suspension seeks to counteract the weight and mass swings that a big, heavy vehicle like the QX80 would have in cornering and sweeping curves. The system provided impressive improvements vis-à-vis the normal motions of a big SUV. It did not eliminate head toss and a tippy sensation now and then.

While road bumps overall were nicely managed, there was bounciness in the ride on some road surfaces and a weighty feel at the corners where the optional 22-inch wheels resided.

Views out front were excellent, and a rearview camera is standard. The optional backup collision intervention automatically stops the vehicle if an obstacle back there is detected.

Other newer safety features are available, such as blind spot warning that has intervention, which helps guide the QX80 back into its lane if it’s drifting into a vehicle at its side.

The QX80’s big size and the lack of any exterior trim on the doors make it seem prone to dings and dents from neighboring car doors in parking lots.

But all riders in the test QX80 were impressed by the interior craftsmanship of this tall-riding SUV. The optional semi-aniline leather on the seats was soft to the touch, and softly gathered leather on the interior doors added unexpected luxury.

The light tan seat color was mimicked on the front of the dashboard and so was the seat stitching. But smartly, the top of the dashboard, where glare from sunlight can be a problem, was finished in a warm and dark brown, creating an easy-on-the-eyes atmosphere.

The QX80 interior is peacefully quiet, enough to make the optional Bose Cabin Surround a wonderful feature.

Shifts were mostly smooth from the seven-speed automatic transmission, though engine vibrations in first gear often came through the gas pedal to the driver’s foot.

Premium gasoline is recommended but not required in the QX80, and the tester averaged just 12.4 miles per gallon in mostly city driving. The federal government’s ratings are 14/20 mpg for city/highway travel.

Everyone climbs up to get into the QX80, and side running boards are standard. They could be a bit wider, however.

Front-row and second-row captain’s chairs look wide and are, so they can accommodate larger-size passengers and provide good support and comfort. It’s the third row, where people sit with knees up near their chins, and with 28.8 inches of legroom, that the QX80 shows its limitations.

In contrast, the third row in the Escalade offers 34.9 inches of legroom.

Infiniti does have power-recline seatbacks for this row, but this doesn’t improve legroom or the shortness of the third-row seat cushions.

It also can be tricky for less-than-nimble folks to get to the third row because they have to work their feet onto the exterior side running board, then to the slightly higher entry floor spot, then to the still-higher third-row floor.

The middle person in the QX80 back seat doesn’t have a head restraint.

And unlike today’s crossover SUVs, second-row seats do not have fore-and-aft seat tracks that could help improve third-row legroom.

Note: Buyers can get a second-row bench seat instead of captain’s chairs to accommodate an eighth person.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

 
Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

 
For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
.

Sports

Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3